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Health Services Administrators

At a Glance

  • Run hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and other medical facilities
  • Perform a variety of duties from budgeting to maintenance
  • Are responsible for work outcomes
  • Regularly interact with people
  • May work long hours to meet deadlines
  • Have at least a bachelor's degree (many have a master's degree)
  • May need a license

Career summary

Health services administrators plan and direct health care services.

Health services administrators may also be called health care administrators or coordinators, health services managers, hospital administrators, clinical managers, public health service operators, emergency room managers, or other titles depending on the specialty.

#match with wois 1134

Health services administrators run hospitals and other health care facilities. They manage nursing homes and other services for older people. Some health administrators oversee entire hospitals and others manage large clinical areas or departments. Others manage large medical practices for physicians.

All health services administrators have tasks that are similar. They must:

Health services administrators who oversee all parts of a clinic or hospital set budgets and oversee how money is spent. They raise money to construct new buildings or buy new equipment.

Administrators regularly communicate with staff, department heads, and members of governing boards. They attend meetings and write reports.

Some health services administrators promote health education programs. They often work with community groups to determine the health needs of the local area. They may also develop teaching materials for community health education.

Other health service administers oversee departments and specific areas of a health care facility. They hire staff, establish work schedules, and assign duties to staff.

Health services administrators must keep up on changes in government regulations, insurance, data technology, and medical equipment. This field is constantly advancing.

Clinical managers

Clinical managers direct a specific department such as surgery or physical therapy. They set budgets and determine procedures for their department. Most clinical administrators have training and work experience in the area they manage.

It managers

IT managers direct the computer and information technology department.

Health information managers

Health information managers maintain the security of all patient records. They stay up to date on laws pertaining to patient records and make sure the facility complies with all regulations.

Financial managers

Financial mangers manage the finances of the facility, including patient fees and billing. They develop and maintain accounting systems.

Facilities managers

Facilities managers make sure buildings are safe and clean and that equipment is in good working order. They make sure that buildings are accessible to people with disabilities.

Related careers

This career is part of the Health Science cluster of careers.

Related careers include:

Military careers

Job duties

Task list

The following list of tasks is specific to health services administrators.

Common work activities

Health services administrators perform the following tasks. These tasks are common to many careers.

Work requirements

Working conditions

In a typical work setting, health services administrators:

Interpersonal relationships

Physical work conditions

Work performance


Physical demands

Health services administrators frequently:

It is important for health services administrators to be able to:

It is not as important, but still necessary, for health services administrators to be able to:

Skills and abilities

Health services administrators need to:


Reason and problem solve

Manage oneself, people, time, and things

Work with people

Work with things

Education and training

Educational programs

The programs of study listed below will help you prepare for the occupation or career cluster you are exploring.

Programs of study directly related to this occupation

Other programs of study to consider


To work as a health services administrator, you typically need to:

Education after high school

Health services administrators must have at least a bachelor's degree. However, many have a master's degree, and many employers require it. Common areas of study are health services administration, business administration, and public health. Other possible programs are long-term care administration and health science. Some health services administrators are doctors. Clinical administrators often have a degree in a specialty, such as nursing.

Many colleges and universities offer master's programs in health services administration. Entry into these programs is competitive. Applicants with work experience and a bachelor's degree in business or a health-related field have the best chance of being accepted.

Work experience

This is not an entry-level occupation. You need experience in the medical industry before you can enter this occupation. Many health services administrators begin their careers as a nurse or doctor. After working in their profession for years, they switch to administration.

On-the-job training

Health services administrators update their knowledge and skills continually. Insurance requirements, laws, medical techniques, and computer technology change quickly. To keep up, managers attend seminars and classes.

Military training

Some branches of the military train people to be health services administrators. You need a bachelor's degree to enter this military occupation. Training lasts for ten to 12 weeks, depending on your specialty. Additional training occurs on the job.

Helpful high school courses

In high school, take classes that prepare you for college. A college preparatory curriculum may be different from your state's graduation requirements.

You should also consider taking some advanced courses in high school. This includes Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses if they are available in your school. If you do well in these courses, you may receive college credit for them. Advanced courses can also strengthen your college application.

Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this career include:

The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.

You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.

Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career. Here are examples of activities and groups that may be available in your high school or community.

Things to know

Most employers require a master's degree in health services administration, business, or a health science. They also require nursing home administrators to have a license. Some students complete a residency or internship as part of their studies. They may be hired by the health care facility where their residency is completed. In addition, many employers require prior work experience, often several years' worth.

Some government positions are filled by political appointment or through the military.

Employers also look for applicants who can make decisions and express their thoughts clearly.

People without advanced degrees have a better chance of entering this field in small rural health care facilities. Requirements for experienced workers frequently include a strong medical background.


Developing an area of expertise such as accounting, budgeting, public relations, or marketing is helpful.

Costs to workers

Workers may wish to join a professional association, which may have annual dues. Administrators must have appropriate professional attire. Workers who are health services administrators in nursing homes must be licensed by the State of Washington.


Hospital administrators and administrators of home health agencies are not licensed in Washington. Nursing home administrators must be licensed by the Washington State Board of Nursing Home Administrators. Licensing requirements include:

The initial application and examination fee is $575 and the annual renewal fee is $695. The application fee for a health services administrator-in-training is $285. There is also a fee for the computer-based national exam. For information on the national exam, contact the National Association of Long-Term Care Administrator Boards (external link).

#National exam fee is charged by the National Association of Long-Term Care Administrator Boards. Exam fee taken from http://www.nabweb.org (external link) candidate's handbook. WA has no state exam requirement.

For more information, contact:

Washington State Department of Health
Health Professions Quality Assurance
Customer Service Center (external link)

PO Box 47877
Olympia, WA 98504

#Added requirement on nursing home laws in WA and made change to hours and years required for renewal, 3/29/06, CJ. No changes to licensing needed 4/3/08 or 4/21/10, cj. Checked info & updated fees 4/4/12 cj. Updated DOH url 6/11/12 cj. Checked licensing info 3/17/14 cj. checked, no changes 2/12/15 lh. Changed AIDS hours & DOH PO #; rest ok 4/20/16 cj. Updated fees, rest ok 4/3/18 cj.

Job listings

Listed below are links to job categories from the National Labor Exchange that relate to this career. Once you get a list of jobs, you can view information about individual jobs and find out how to apply. If your job search finds too many openings, or if you wish to search for jobs outside of Washington, you will need to refine your search.

To get a listing of current jobs from the WorkSource system, go to the WorkSource website (external link).


Medical and health services managers (SOC 11-9111)

Pay Period
Washington Hourly $28.44 $38.27 $51.57 $65.07 $91.02
Monthly $4,929 $6,632 $8,937 $11,277 $15,774
Yearly $59,160 $79,600 $107,270 $135,340 $189,310
    Bellingham Hourly $30.55 $34.82 $41.55 $49.60 $64.10
Monthly $5,294 $6,034 $7,201 $8,596 $11,109
Yearly $63,551 $72,437 $86,420 $103,170 $133,318
    Bremerton-Silverdale Hourly $24.85 $28.03 $33.52 $41.13 $56.59
Monthly $4,307 $4,858 $5,809 $7,128 $9,807
Yearly $51,689 $58,315 $69,723 $85,558 $117,700
    Clarkston-Lewiston Hourly $18.82 $24.53 $36.22 $55.34 $64.90
Monthly $3,262 $4,251 $6,277 $9,590 $11,247
Yearly $39,146 $51,024 $75,325 $115,111 $135,009
    Kennewick-Richland Hourly $29.67 $40.37 $51.80 $63.16 $85.32
Monthly $5,142 $6,996 $8,977 $10,946 $14,786
Yearly $61,732 $83,966 $107,761 $131,373 $177,478
    Longview Hourly $20.85 $23.08 $36.31 $47.27 $60.89
Monthly $3,613 $4,000 $6,293 $8,192 $10,552
Yearly $43,350 $48,000 $75,516 $98,309 $126,646
    Mount Vernon-Anacortes Hourly $37.16 $43.67 $54.88 $67.27 $83.24
Monthly $6,440 $7,568 $9,511 $11,658 $14,425
Yearly $77,280 $90,829 $114,164 $139,913 $173,148
    Olympia-Tumwater Hourly $33.21 $37.24 $47.73 $61.64 $80.67
Monthly $5,755 $6,454 $8,272 $10,682 $13,980
Yearly $69,083 $77,458 $99,269 $128,204 $167,793
    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Hourly $30.71 $42.67 $56.51 $71.90 $97.78
Monthly $5,322 $7,395 $9,793 $12,460 $16,945
Yearly $63,891 $88,754 $117,548 $149,539 $203,389
    Spokane-Spokane Valley Hourly $23.24 $35.28 $46.39 $61.79 $100.11
Monthly $4,027 $6,114 $8,039 $10,708 $17,349
Yearly $48,342 $73,383 $96,505 $128,540 $208,228
    Vancouver Hourly $31.90 $41.18 $54.03 $73.82 $100.00
Monthly $5,528 $7,136 $9,363 $12,793 $17,330
Yearly $66,336 $85,663 $112,374 $153,547 $208,004
    Walla Walla Hourly $25.98 $33.14 $47.94 $59.92 $77.26
Monthly $4,502 $5,743 $8,308 $10,384 $13,389
Yearly $54,038 $68,925 $99,709 $124,630 $160,700
    Wenatchee Hourly $35.42 $43.32 $54.18 $63.70 $76.69
Monthly $6,138 $7,507 $9,389 $11,039 $13,290
Yearly $73,689 $90,115 $112,695 $132,504 $159,515
    Yakima Hourly $29.97 $37.70 $52.24 $63.16 $89.49
Monthly $5,194 $6,533 $9,053 $10,946 $15,509
Yearly $62,337 $78,407 $108,666 $131,368 $186,139
United States Hourly $28.21 $36.56 $47.95 $62.89 $87.79
Monthly $4,889 $6,336 $8,310 $10,899 $15,214
Yearly $58,680 $76,050 $99,730 $130,820 $182,600

Earnings vary by the size and type of health facility. In general, health services administrators earn more for managing larger facilities.

Benefits usually include sick leave, paid vacation, health insurance, and a retirement plan. Some administrators receive free meals. Others receive bonuses based on job performance.

Employment and outlook

Washington outlook


The table below provides information about the number of workers in this career in various regions. It also provides information about the expected growth rate and future job openings.

Medical and Health Services Managers (SOC 11-9111)

Location Current employment Growth over 10 years Annual openings
Washington 7,181 26.8% 16.1% 1,001
    Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan Counties 217 26.3% 13.4% 30
    Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Walla Walla, and Whitman Counties 186 18.8% 8.6% 22
    Benton and Franklin Counties 208 37.0% 15.0% 34
    Clallam, Jefferson, and Kitsap Counties 251 27.1% 11.9% 35
    Clark, Cowlitz, and Wahkiakum Counties 415 27.0% 15.2% 57
    Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston Counties 370 27.3% 14.1% 52
    Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties 270 25.9% 14.6% 37
    King County 3,012 28.4% 19.6% 432
    Kittitas, Klickitat, Skamania, and Yakima Counties 259 22.0% 13.8% 33
    Pierce County 794 27.1% 15.2% 111
    Snohomish County 445 23.8% 12.4% 59
    Spokane County 711 22.5% 13.9% 91
United States 406,100 17.6% 5.2% 42,200

National employment

Nearly one third of all health services administrators work in hospitals.

Major employers:

National outlook

Demand for health services administrators will be very strong as more health care facilities are built due to the growing aging population. Demand will also grow as more people covered by health insurance seek health care services. Growth will be highest in clinics because they offer many services that previously were only available in hospitals.

Other resources

American College of Health Care Administrators (external link)
1101 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 450
Washington, DC 20036
American College of Healthcare Executives (external link)
One North Franklin Street, Suite 1700
Chicago, IL 60606
American Health Care Association (external link)
1201 L Street NW
Washington, DC 20005
American Health Information Management Association (external link)
233 North Michigan Avenue, 21st Floor
Chicago, IL 60601
American Health Information Management Association Career Page (external link)
What is Health Information?
American Hospital Association (external link)
155 North Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606
American Medical Association (external link)
American Medical Informatics Association (external link)
Explore Health Careers: Health Administrator (external link)
National Association of Health Services Executives (external link)
1050 Connecticut Ave NW, 5th Floor
Washington DC, 20036
National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards (external link)
1120 20th Street, NW, Suite 750
Washington, DC 20036
Professional Association of Healthcare Office Management (external link)
1576 Bella Cruz Drive, Suite 360
Lady Lake, FL 32159
Washington Health Care Association (external link)
303 Cleveland Avenue SE, Suite 206
Tumwater, WA 98501
Washington State Hospital Association (external link)
999 Third Avenue, Suite 1400
Seattle, WA 98104
Your Career as a Healthcare Executive (external link)


Career cluster

Career path

O*Net (external link) occupation

O*Net job zone (external link)

DOT occupations

Strong Interest Inventory

Holland occupational clusters